Donald Trump not ′thrilled′ with border deal, but doesn′t want government shutdown | News | DW | 12.02.2019
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Donald Trump not 'thrilled' with border deal, but doesn't want government shutdown

The US president is underwhelmed with a tentative funding deal that provides much less funding for border security. Trump again insisted that his concrete wall at the US-Mexico border will be built.

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday expressed his displeasure with a border security agreement that would prevent another government shutdown, but did not reject it outright as fellow Republicans asked for his support.

The tentative funding deal, struck by Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Monday, offered close to $1.37 billion (€1.21 billion) for 55 miles (88 kilometers) of new metal fencing at the US-Mexico border, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump demanded in December for 215 miles of concrete wall.

"I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm thrilled," Trump told reporters at the White House. 

Watch video 17:17

Teleprompter Trump or Twitter Trump?

Another shutdown?

However, Trump did say he told his cabinet that he did not intend to force another government shutdown. 

"I don't think you're going to see a shutdown. I don't want to see another shutdown. If you did have it, it's the Democrats' fault," Trump said.

Trump's demand for border wall funding in December triggered a 35-day shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government, which caused 800,000 government employees to go more than a month without pay and put several government services on hold. When Democrats refused to budge, the US president was forced to backtrack and in January he approved a bill that reopened the government for three weeks, which ends on Friday.

Along with border fencing, Monday's tentative agreement addressed capacity at immigration facilities, but a Democratic proposal to cap the number of detained illegal immigrants caught by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency was rejected. Democrats said formal legislation could by ready by Wednesday, leaving Congress little time to pass the measure by Friday's deadline.

Unilateral action at border

Though Trump sent mixed messages about a government shutdown, he did once again insist that the wall, a campaign promise from his 2016 presidential run, would get built.

"The bottom is on the wall: We're building the wall," Trump said, adding: "We're supplementing things, and moving things around, and we're doing things that are fantastic and taking, really, from far-less-important areas (of the government)."

Trump had previously threatened to declare a "national emergency" if Congress did not provide him with the funds to build a concrete wall at the border. Fellow Republicans have warned him that such a move would certainly prompt a legal challenge, either in Congress or in the courts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Trump got a "pretty good deal" and that he hopes the president will sign it into law. McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, added that Trump should "feel free" to use what ever tools he can "legally use" to find funding for border security.

Watch video 02:57

Trump calls for bipartisanship but pledges border wall

dv/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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